What is the most common cancer

Cancer statistics - incidence of cancer


With the data of epidemiological cancer registries, the Cancer incidence, i.e. the frequency of the occurrence of new diseases per year, differentiated according to type of cancer, age and gender as well as other characteristics. Reliable information on the incidence is an indispensable prerequisite for describing the extent and type of cancer exposure in a population. They are the basis for further epidemiological studies at the Search for the causes of cancer development.

Frequency and types of cancer

Cancer in Germany

In the year 2000, according to estimates based on cancer registry data, around 395,000 people new to cancer - 200,000 men and 195,000 women, whereby, following international practice, skin cancer with the exception of malignant melanoma is not taken into account. The mean age of onset is 66 for men and 67 for women.

In 2001 around 210,000 people died as a result of cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases.

The most common types of cancer in women include breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. In men, prostate cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer are the most common cancers.


Frequency of cancer in Germany

Cancer incidence in Germany in an EU comparison

The age-standardized incidence rates for Germany according to the estimates of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin are for women and for men slightly above the EU average. Higher incidence rates are found for men in France and Belgium, and lowest in Greece. In women, the incidence rates are higher in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Ireland, while lower rates are observed in Portugal, Spain and Greece.

Cancer Incidence Worldwide

In 2000, more than 10 million people were newly diagnosed with cancer worldwide, more than 22 million people worldwide lived with cancer, and 6.2 million people worldwide died from cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with men more often than women. The incidence rate in women is increasing continuously, however, due to the changed smoking behavior.

Prostate, breast and colon cancers are more common in richer countries than in poorer countries. In contrast, people in poorer countries are more likely to develop malignant tumors of the liver, stomach and cervix. Infections are often the cause.

The best chance of recovery have breast, cervical, prostate, colon and skin cancers - provided they are detected early enough.


Worldwide Cancer Death Rates

In 2000, over 6 million people worldwide died of cancer. Round 12 percent of all global deaths can be traced back to cancer. This means that, on average, more people die from cancer worldwide than from HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in developed countries and one of the three leading causes of death in adults in developing countries.

Survival rates for diagnosed cancer

The relative 5-year survival rates, i.e. the survival rates in relation to persons of the same age and sex in the general population, depend on the tumor disease, the cancer stage and the condition of the patient.

Very cheap rates have between 75% and more than 90%

Very unfavorable rates of less than 10% there is

It has been showing since the 1970s overall an improvement the survival rates of cancer patients. The decline in gastric cancer with its worse survival rates and the increase in colon cancer with more favorable survival rates also contributed to this.

For Saarland women diagnosed between 1990 and 1994 the relative 5-year survival rate is 56%, for Saarland men it is 44%. The corresponding figures for the 1980s were 53 and 40%, respectively.

General trends and statements based on cancer registry data

  • Prostate cancer has increased and is now the most common cancer in men.
  • The incidence of gastric cancer has halved compared to 1970.
  • Lung cancer rates in women and men show different trends: steadily increasing in women, decreasing in men.
  • For malignant melanoma of the skin (black skin cancer), the number of cases has increased almost sixfold in the last 30 years. A north-south divide can be observed in Europe.
  • For some cancers, the death rates decrease significantly with little change in the incidence.
  • Survival rates for testicular cancer have improved significantly over the past 20 years.
  • The number of cancers in children has not changed.

Cancer is an "illness of old age"

The absolute number of new cancer cases each year increased by eleven percent for men between 1990 and 1998 and by seven percent for women. The main reason for this increase: There are more and more old people. Almost 75 percent of the men who are newly diagnosed with cancer and around 71 percent of the women affected are over 60 years old.

Cancer can largely be traced back to a faulty correction of errors in the genetic material: the older the person gets, the more unreliable this repair system works and the greater the likelihood of developing cancer. (As of July 2003)


Forecast: Worldwide new cancer cases in 2020

In 2020, it is estimated that 15 million people around the world will be affected by cancer. This would increase the new disease rate compared to 2000 increase by 50 percent. The main reason for this increase: There are more and more old people.

If current smoking rates and the often unhealthy lifestyle remain unchanged, the number of new cancer cases will be even higher in the future.

(Source: WHO 2003)